Dead sea is 34.2% salt and rest water - which is about 9.6 times more salty than ocean water - making it denser than our Human body helping us float without any effort. Also, the surface is 427 meters below sea level making it the lowest known place on Earth. The Dead Sea gets its name due to the absence of any life forms in its water.

Now that I have your attention, let me share my experience at Dead sea!

Getting there:

Dead Sea is a must-see/must-experience place if you are in this part of the world – it can be accessed only through Israel or Jordan. It’s about 80 kilometers south-east of Jerusalem, you could club the Dead Sea trip with a trip to Masada or En Gedi. As I had already visited Masada, this time it was En Gedi + Dead Sea. En Gedi deserves a different post altogether

dead mans float at Dead Sea

The floating:

Ever wondered how it would feel to be suspended in space, to feel weightlessness – floating in Dead Sea comes very close to it. The water pushes you back, literally, and no matter what position you keep your body in you will be at least 50% percent above the water surface. As it was may second time at Dead Sea I tried all kinds of monkeying in the water: floating on my back with all my limbs raised, floating with only my tummy submerged in water, dog paddle with no effort spent in floating, heck I even chanted ‘OM’ while I did the dead mans float in Dead Sea! Would’ve spent more time in the water if not for the transport back home – might have been in water for 45 minutes. I suggest you don’t try something new if it’s your first time at Dead sea or if you aren’t confident in deep waters. Why do I say so? To know the risks involves read ‘The Perils’ below!

The perils:

It’s a myth that you can’t drown in Dead Sea! When I mean drown it’s not in the conventional sense of sinking into water, it’s more by gulping down that highly saline water when you are floating face down. Even a few swallows of the Dead Sea water destroys the electrolyte balance in the body hurting the heart and kidneys and cause the body to shut down. If you don’t know swimming or not very confident in deep waters my advice to you would be to float on your back. If you have any cuts, I repeat, any kind of fresh cuts or wounds on your body, don’t even think of getting into the Dead Sea water or you would experience first hand what the phrase ‘adding salt to injury’ really means. Due to my 3 hour hike in En gedi my lips were parched before I got into the Dead Sea water. Big mistake. The moment some water splashed onto my lips it was burning crazy and didn’t stop till I washed them with fresh water – which was 45 minutes later. Oh, and guys, don’t even think about shaving on the day, or day before, if you have planned a trip to Dead Sea. Also don’t get any water in your eyes as it stings real badly, but if you do, don’t even think of rubbing it with your hands!

Please take all these precautions and I assure that you will have the most fantastic experience floating in Dead Sea!

Incidentally this is the 200th post on ANUBIMB! A blog journey that started way back in 02-Jan-2006, hope it'll never end. Thanks for reading.

Anoop Hullenahalli

An Electronics Engineer working on wireless embedded systems for a living. Traveling, photographing and sharing my experiences here at ANUBIMB helps me unwind and break the monotony of life.

1 Comment

Sarah · 17 Feb ’14 at 8:54 am

Cool.. I’ve always wanted float in the dead Sea!!! Thanks for letting us know the perils.. no one talks about that… In fact, the Bible (as well as the Jewish/Islamic religious book) says that Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt when she turned back to have one last look at Sodom and Gomorrah when they were fleeing it just as God was destroying those cities. (Sodom and Gomorrah were the twin cities that used to exist where the Dead Sea is presently.)

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